Coastal Explorers Field School
The Coastal Explorers Field School uses the ocean as a teaching tool, involving students in hands-on educational programming onboard their “floating classroom,” at the shoreline, and at onshore partner facilities. Through the program, students explore the marine and coastal environment and contribute to real-world research using scientific tools and oceanographic equipment. Program activities are designed to meet STEM-related K-12 curriculum outcomes.
“The panel appreciated the local context around which the field school works and the attempts that the program is making to connect its students to both practical and local job-related skills as well as the broader environmental context. The panel was also impressed with the in-roads being made to connect the program to more rural and Indigenous youth. The focus on experiential learning with ocean and marine life health was very strong in the Field School programs, with many initiatives led by students in connection with mentors. By focusing on building relevant skills for students in the environment they live in, this program can serve as an example of how applied environmental education can have long-term impacts on both youth and their communities. The panel was also very impressed with the leadership of the program and its attempts to reinvigorate the socioeconomic conditions of their community through environmental education. With Newfoundland’s decreasing population, the panel felt that the program’s investment and mentorship in this rural and isolated community was important to show students that they can build futures in the area. ”